“As Ethernet networks become more popular on the factory floor, there is a growing need for accessible network infrastructure tools in the automation programming environment,” said Eric Kaczor, Siemens Engineering Software Marketing Manager. “By integrating the Topology Editor within the SIMATIC STEP 7 architecture, there is no longer a need for a separate tool to configure the infrastructure components.”
Because the Topology Editor is integrated into STEP 7, operators may also view the status of the network infrastructure online, including the condition of Ethernet switches and wireless access points.
The network components use Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) in accordance with IEEE 802.1 AB and Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) communications mechanisms. Each PROFINET device uses LLDP to autonomously identify the neighbors on its ports. STEP 7 scans the neighborhood relationships via SNMP and represents the topology of the PPROFINET infrastructure graphically or in a table available online and offline.